Randy and Rodney "Shane" Kindel were just hanging around their camp at Alcova Lake on a Saturday evening last June when they heard screaming nearby.

A woman left in charge of a young girl had fallen asleep, picked up the girl, and walked into the lake.

The Kindel brothers pulled the woman from the water, and Serita Estes picked up the girl.

The three began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Natrona County Sheriff Gus Holbrook said at the Sheriff's Office annual awards ceremony last week.

"After a few breaths, the girl coughed expelling water from her lungs and began to breathe on her own," Holbrook said.

The three life-savers won civilian life-saving medals.

"It's an absolutely stressful situation to find somebody face-down, especially two people and one being a small child face-down and unresponsive in the water," Holbrook said after the ceremony. "And they showed great courage by going out there and rescuing that girl. You've got to realize that five minutes is a long time for CPR, and they stuck through it the entire time, and we just wanted to recognize them for their heroic actions."

The Kindel brothers, who had CPR training, said never knew how hard it was to repeatedly push down on a chest to jump-start breathing.

When the woman came to, she didn't expel much water, they said. She didn't know what had happened to her, didn't appear to know where she was, refused medical attention, and didn't seem to care that her life had been saved.

All she wanted was another beer, Shane Kindel said.

Ironically, sheriff's deputies at the scene learned she was wanted on a criminal warrant. She was taken to the Natrona County Detention Center.

That resulted in another life-saving effort.

The rescued-then-jailed woman began to show signs of medical distress because she still had water in her lungs. Jail nurse Cathy Cook, who won a life-saving medal, called for an ambulance, and the woman was taken to the Wyoming Medical Center for treatment.

The woman never thanked the Kindel brothers for their actions, they said.


These are the awards and their recipients:

  • 28 Year Service Award: Lt. Jerry Clark, who died after surgery Feb. 13. His widow, Maggie, accepted the award on his behalf. Holbrook said later, "It's very heartbreaking to lose a member of this office, one that was loved and trusted by all."
  • 20 Year Service Awards: Sgt Trey Warne, Cpl. Kevin Norcross.
  • Civilian Employee of the Year Award: Dalene Asmus.
  • Detention Officer of the Year Award: Deputy Tony Dill.
  • Peace Officer of the Year Award: Deputy Katie Preciado, an evidence technician who investigated the murder-suicide on Casper Mountain in September 2015, the death of a nine-month-old infant in February 2015, and the investigation of the murder at Racks Gentlemen's Club in October 2013.
  • Certificate of Commendation: Sgt. Michael Hotard, Deputy Bart Olson, Deputy Brendon Littau.
  • Life Saving Medal: Cpl. Jason Carstens, Deputy Sandy Arnold, Deputy Shawn Johnson, Deputy Michael Forbes, Nurse Angela Chesser.
  • Civilian Life Saving Medal: Sirita Estes, Randy Kindel, Rodney Shane Kindel.
  • Life Saving Medal: Nurse Cathy Cook.